Today is a special day.
I'm ditching my family for the day to go to the Bears game in Cincinnati. My brother and I have first row seats, corner of the endzone. Watch for us on TV. I'll be wearing a Bears jersey. My slightly less handsome and intelligent brother will be sporting some fashionable Bengal tiger stripes. The tickets were expensive as hell, but I go to an NFL game maybe once every four years, so it's worth it. I've been looking forward to this game since the NFL schedule was announced. Under the current NFL scheduling process, Chicago and Cincinnati only play once every four years, and the game is only in Cincinnati every eight years. And since Cincinnati is only good every 25 years, this game holds even more meaning as both teams have playoff potential.
Why am I a Bears fan and my brother a Bengals fan? Well, the NFL wasn't big in our house growing up. Our dad was more into baseball and college basketball. We grew up in Dayton, so we didn't have a local team to follow. That left the slate pretty wide open for professional football. I tried to get into the Browns (since I already followed the Cleveland Indians) but it never really stuck. I still casually follow the Browns but I don't think I can call myself a fan. The team that did stick though, was Chicago. The age I really become interested in professional football was when the 1985 Bears won the Super Bowl. It was hard not to be enamored with that team as little kid. I had this lame ass Jim McMahon t-shirt that I wore forever. And who couldn't be amazed by Walter Payton. I remember watching a highlight video of his over and over at my friend's house. I don't remember if it was something being shown on cable (which he had and I didn't) or if it was one of those Sports Illustrated videos that you get with your subscription (which he had and I didn't). Sweetness was the greatest running back to ever play the game. So, basically because of players like Payton, McMahon and Singletary, I've stayed a Bears fan. Now why is my brother Kip a Bengals fan? Because he's a redneck drunk.
Anyway. Time to go drink some beers and talk shit with my brother. I'll be back late.